Lisa Sophie Gebhard is a Ph.D. candidate at the Free University of Berlin and a fellow of the Leo Baeck Institute London and the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. She studied Modern History in Kiel, Berlin and Milan. In 2016 she participated in the project “Traces of German-Jewish History” which was initiated by the Franz Rosenzweig Minerva Research Center and the Literaturarchiv Marbach in order to keep the heritage of German Jews in Israel alive. In this context, she helped cataloguing the personal papers of Curt Wormann (1900-1991) in the National Library of Israel.
Title of the doctoral dissertation: "Jews as Cultural Mediators in 'Greater Palestine': Davis Trietsch and the Colonial Ambitions of Early German Zionists"
The aim of the study is to explore the territorial concepts which early German Zionists developed towards Palestine at the turn of the century, analyzing their motivations, the rhetorical moves they made, and the cultural conventions that shaped their thought. The focus will be on the activities of the prolific writer Davis Trietsch (1870–1935) and his concept of a “Greater Palestine” which so far seems to have been the most elaborated concept at the time. Once a remarkable figure on the Jewish nationalist scene, after his death he largely disappeared from historical memory. Coherent biographical information about him will be therefore compiled for the very first time. Aside from “Greater Palestine” and its intellectual origins, another focus will be on the methods and techniques which Trietsch wished to implement. Both are closely related to each other because new technologies engendered a profound transformation in the manner in which the world itself was perceived and therefore advanced imperial imaginaries such as "Greater Palestine". In this sense, Trietsch shall be portrayed as a multifaceted "entrepreneur of knowledge", who initiated several forward looking projects, whose origins will be systematically traced.